Nicola Sturgeon announces rent AND rail freeze for Scotland

First Minister has announced a plan for a rent and rail freeze in Scotland to tackle the cost of living crisis

Nicola Sturgeon
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will bring in emergency legislation to freeze rents until spring to help tenants amid the worsening cost of living crisis. 

The rent freeze will cover both public and private rented properties and include a ban on evictions during winter.

There are also plans to freeze rail fares and boost the Scottish Child Payment from £20 to £25 per week from 14 November.

The plans were announced in Sturgeon’s Programme for Government speech, which is made by the Scottish First Minister at the start of each new year at Holyrood.

Her announcements come as the rest of the UK awaits details from Prime Minister Liz Truss about a support package that is rumoured to include energy bills being fixed at £2,500.

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 Here, we explain what we know so far. 

What do we know about Nicola Sturgeon’s freeze on rent?

Sturgeon told Holyrood the focus of the emergency legislation on rent was two-fold: "Firstly, it will aim to give people security about the roof over their head this winter through a moratorium on evictions,” she said. 

"Secondly, the legislation will include measures to deliver a rent freeze," she added.

The rent freeze until spring 2023 will cover both public and private rented properties. Evictions during winter will also be banned.

What do we know about Nicola Sturgeon’s freeze on rail prices?

ScotRail fares will be frozen until at least March 2023. The Scottish government took the rail firm into public ownership earlier this year. 

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What do we know about support for Scottish children?

The Scottish child payment will increase from £20 to £25 a week for each child from 14 November - approximately 400,000 children will be eligible.

Two Best Start Grants, known as the early learning and school age payments, will now be awarded automatically to families in receipt of the Scottish child payment without the need to apply.

Free school meals will also be extended to all pupils in primary six and seven.

Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.